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Old 05-27-2016, 12:34 AM View Post #1 (Link) Section ! of my 'Novel'
Emoijah Bridgs (Offline)
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In inspiration from the Book Thief, I wanted to take an inhuman role and go back to the 120s and 1930s when Hitler had risen. Here is just the first part of my story. Let me know what you think. I just tried to do a lot of research about Hitler, BTW.

I am Empathy. No, really – I am. That is what I am and will always be. I step and explore, attempting to understand the feelings of someone else. See, I don’t judge other people – at least I try not to until I get to comprehend where they are coming from. I enjoy the process of stepping into someone’s else shoes. I mean that literally. Humans don’t like do that. I can’t grasp on that matter – why attempt to understand someone or something without stepping into one’s shoes.
Be Empathy – be me for a change. I wish people could understand how difficult my job is. But, wait – of course they can’t. They don’t have me, Empathy.
But enough about me. Let’s talk about something else. Let’s go to…hmmm – the 1930s. What was happening in the 1930s? Oh yeah, that’s right – Hitler was happening. And later on the Holocaust would happen. Before I carry on, let me apologize for a second. I want to make something clear. I am Empathy – I am not God or any other foreign Super Natural power. I cannot control the future and prevent things from happening. If you would not like to read a book about understanding Hitler or the Nazis or the Jews or the Holocaust, step away and put this book down.
You think, “Oh, Hitler is such an evil man,” or “I will never get Jews – those disgusting filthy creatures.” When people attempt to stir your brain and step into Empathy’s shoes to either contradict or give you another view on your claim, you stand stubborn.
See, this is why I don’t fathom humans. As the famous German misanthropist Friedrich Nietzsche says, “Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations, epochs, it is the rule.” Personally, I think he was being sarcastic in saying insanity in individuals is something rare. The whole of humanity is slow – all of them need desperate help. Okay, let me stop making fun of humankind.
So, to carry on for those who want to be like Empathy, I will tell you of my travels with a guy named Adolf Hitler, some Jews, some Nazis, a guy who gave Hitler the finger, and much more a regular human couldn’t apprehend.










1897
This was an interesting year for me to investigate. To be more specific, this was the year Hitler turned 8 years old. I thought, ‘Oh, Hitler must have been in a wonderful home bossing all his siblings around – king of the house!’
But no. I was wrong. See, I had to go step in that house that year. Because that is what Empathy does. Obviously.

Hitler had five siblings, but all the others had deceased and Paula was the only one alive at the time. And besides the oldest one, Alois Jr. had run away from the home at 14. But more on that later, though. Hitler was living with his father Alois Hitler, his mother Klara Hitler and Paula. I decided to explore this particular year on a specific circumstance.
I decided to choose to be a ‘new neighbor’ of the Hitler’s family. One day, I stopped in History by their house – as humans can say, to spy. I watched from the front window, observing.
Young Hitler was cleaning the floor and his sister was doing the dishes. A typical normal family. Alois walked in the kitchen, apparently in a bad mood. But what was new?
“Was machen Sie?“ Alois yelled at Hitler, What are you doing?
Young Hitler stared at the floor, his arm rocking the old damp rag back and forth slowly.
Alois stormed in the kitchen right behind Young Hitler.“Did you hear me, Blödmann!“ (That means dumb A for the uneducated or non-German speakers) I would warn you – Alois was paticularly good at insults.

And yes, Young Hitler did hear him. That wasn’t the question. The question was, Why are you not getting up and responding to what I just said, Blödmann? I don’t get why people do that – just say exactly what you want to say.

Young Hitler kept interest in the floor, his shaking hands continuing with the rocking motion.

Alois grabbed the boy by the hem of his shirt and forced him to stand up.

“Answer me, you fool!”

Young Hitler stood there, his hands still shaking. A hand flew through the air and he slapped him. The boy fell back and held his face.

“Why are you done with the floor by now, you lazy Hurensohn!“ he screamed. “Your sister here is nearly finished with the dishes and she has done the laundry. I’ve been gone for about an hour!“

“I – I,“ he stammered. “I have done most of the floor!“


Alois glared at the floor in pure disgust. “What is this?” he said. “You call this ‘almost done’?”
He slapped him for the second time. Then, he slapped him again. A dark shade of red filled the left side of Young Hitler’s face.
“Leave me alone!” he screamed.
Alois pushed the boy back and slammed him against the wall. A sister’s scream was heard as the boy cried simultaneously. I watched as Young Hitler’s father took off his ripped up, dying belt and lashed it out at him. Once, twice, three times, four times, five times – I quitted counting.
He kept lashing out all over his body as Hitler sobbed into the floor, his body on the ground. As Paula tried to grab at Alois’ legs to stop him, Klara Hitler walked into the kitchen and yelled at Alois. He ignored her and stared coldly at his son.
“halte den Mund!” Shut up! He screamed to Paula, who was still screaming behind him. Immediately, she stopped.
That would just be one of the many times the boy would be abused by his father. Poor Hitler. Well, the young Hitler.
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:04 PM View Post #2 (Link) critique
artbyandream (Offline)
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I really enjoy your writing style, I haven't heard of many book being narrated by an intangible subject. Empathy truly is an interesting subject, you can do a lot with it. Now for my advice. As someone who is reading I want the words to carry a certain flow that prevents me from stopping at certain points and asking myself "Wait, what?"

For most of your writing I fell into the "Flow" though I did find it slightly unnecessary to mention that the narrator was empathy for a second time. You started out by saying "I am Empathy." Perfect, I know who the narrator is. You then continue to explain that you are empathy, again, maybe you could say "I am only empathy". I don't think you should take that bit out but it would be nice if you found a way to blend it into your writing in a way that feels more natural.

Your story has such amazing possibilities, you've made the choice of writing from the perspective of Empathy,an intangible subject (which was so necessary in that horrible time) you can make this a brilliant story.

I suggest you remember that word "flow"

Imagine if you were the reader (trust me, as a writer, I know its hard) think about the way you sentence your beautiful words.

I was thrilled to read such an original idea (even if it was only a few paragraphs) I honestly think its cool that you took this sort of take on this subject, all you need is the tweaking.
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Old 06-24-2016, 05:45 PM View Post #3 (Link)
L.P.Perez (Offline)
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Originally Posted by Emoijah Bridgs View Post
In inspiration from the Book Thief, Unrelated really to the whole review thing, I love the Book Theif and I've thought of writing a piece or two in the whole style as well. It's actually pleasing to see someone else with the idea and for them to execute that idea makes me kind of excited to see what you have come up with. Anyways back to the reveiw. I wanted to take an inhuman role and go back to the 120s and 1930s when Hitler had risen. Here is just the first part of my story. Let me know what you think. I just tried to do a lot of research about Hitler, It is always good to research the topic you are writing about unless of course you are writng a ficiton novel where you have created the situation and or characters/setting. Don't try to research, do research. I'm in the middle of crime novel myself and before I started writing it I printed a binder's worth of information on anything I could think of to help. Research is always a good thing, so research on... BTW.

I am Empathy. No, really – I am. You sound like you are tring to convince you're reader that you are Empathy. There is a few things wrong with that. For one, this is the beginning of your story and you already started it off by stating that you are Empathy. Therefore the second line isn't really needed. It kind of makes it look as if you are doubting yourself and if you trully want your reader to believe that you (as the narrator) are Empathy then prove it to them through your writing. That is what I am and will always be. Again, another unneeded line. If you're Empathy then how could you have been something else? How could you become something else? I step and explore, attempting to understand the feelings of someone else. The wording of this line seems rather odd to me. See, I don’t judge other people – at least I try not to until I get to comprehend where they are coming from. Hm... I don't think Empathy would ever judge someone. The point of Empathy is to really come to undestand someone and to understand why someone feels a certain way and t me that doesn't seem like someone who would judge others. I enjoy the process of stepping into someone’s else shoes. Describe this process. I mean that literally. Of course you mean it. That's Empathy's job isn't it? Humans don’t like do that. To blunt. How do we not like to do that? I can’t seem to grasp on that matter – why they attempt to understand someone or something without stepping into one’s another's shoes. So if you can't see I fixed the previous sentence a little to help the flow. I also thought that empathy was talking about humans in that line so that's how I fixed it, I may be wrong so in case I am, I'm sorry for assuming things. (Like always though you are the writer so you don't necessarily have to accept everything I have to say).

As a first Paragraph (and opening) to your story it didn't really seem to hook me in. The idea is kind of cool, you know, seeing this time period through the eyes of Empathy. However the entire paragrah just seemed rather blunt and boring. It was more of an information dump then anything particurally exciting. Remember you want to draw your reader into the story, you want to 'punch' them were it hurts and grip them by the edge of their seats. Now I'm not saying you have to start in the middle of all the action and terror (or romance or whatever you believe to be the most gripping part) but you want more then what you have. It's not bad, it just needs a little more spices.


Be Empathy – be me for a change. Eh, I don't really like this line. Like I get what you want out of it but I still think that it needs something. I wish people could understand how difficult my job is. Rather then telling us that your job is hard, why not show us. Don't be afraid to go a little deeper and give us an example of what you do, make us exprience the Empathy we don't understand. But, wait – of course they can’t. They don’t have me, Empathy. Mm, I would suggest taking this line out because it's not necessarily true. I get the fact that Empathy (as the narrator) may not see a human's empathy but no matter what human's have empathy. Seen or not. So saying people don't have it, even if it's Empathy its self is telling us, it's kind of wrong and just doesn't really feel right. If you get what I mean.
But enough about me. Let’s talk about something else. Let’s go to…hmmm – the 1930s. What was happening in the 1930s? Oh yeah, that’s right – Hitler was happening. I don't like those lines. This would be the perfect beginning to show how we don't see the true job as empathy. So don't make it sound like you had to think about it. It would be a whole lot better if you more so lead your reader to the holocast and to the life of Hitler then rather making it seem like an after thought. And later on the Holocaust would happen. You don't have to state that the holocaust is happeing. Just telling us about Hitler is enough since I'm pretty sure that anyone could hear the name Hitler and just know where the progression of the story is going to take us. Before I carry on, let me apologize for a second. I want to make something clear. I am Empathy – I am not God or any other foreign Super Natural I don't blieve that super natural has to be capitalized. power. I cannot control the future and prevent things from happening. So if you would not like don't want to read a book about understanding Hitler or the Nazis or the Jews or the Holocaust, step away now and put this book down. This is way better beginning/hook to your story. It kind of stinks though that to get to this point your reader has to 'suffer' the boring beginnging of much unneeded information. Another thing, in the last sentence you used the whole 'or the' thing three times which just started to feel a little overdone. Maybe you could find a way to shorten this line and perhaps use commas instead of 'or the'.

Many of you think, “Oh, Hitler is such an evil man,” or “I will never get Jews – those disgusting filthy creatures.” I don't really think that people think that about the Jews. Especially looking back at the holocaust now. When people attempt to stir your brain and step into Empathy’s shoes to either contradict or give you another view on your claim, you stand stubborn. I like this sentence, though I do think that it could be worded a little better.
See, this is why I don’t fathom humans. You have already made it clear that Empathy doesn't like humans, now you are just beating the dead concept. As the famous German misanthropist Friedrich Nietzsche says, “Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations, epochs, it is the rule.” I don't get how this ties in with the empathy part. Personally, I think he was being sarcastic in saying when he said insanity in individuals is something rare. The whole of humanity is slow – all of them need desperate help.What do you mean by slow? How does 'slow' tie in with empathy or insanity? Okay, let me stop making fun of humankind.
Mm, I don't like this last line. It just doesn't feel right.

So, to carry on for those who want to be like me Empathy, I will tell you of my travels with a guy named Adolf Hitler, some Jews, some Nazis, a guy who gave Hitler the finger, and much more a regular human couldn’t apprehend. I may be wrong but I think this is a run on sentence.

Ok. So as the beginnig of this story I am not quite impressed. For one it's boring and it doesn't catch my interest. Infact if I wasn't already invested in writing this crituiqe for you then I probably whould have already put it down and picked up something else. My issues with it, besides not hooking me in, mainly have to do with Empathy itself. The way you have started creating Empathy as a character doesn't feel right at all. You have given us an Empathy who is very judgemental, very nacissistic (suprisingly) and just bluntly rude as all get out towards humanity and the human population. Like I breifly stated earlier, Empathy to me would be more a womenly figure who is very understanding and open. Someone who doesn't take ones mistakes against them. That doesn't mean Empathy has to love the human population but more that Empathy doesn't resent them and instead tries hard to guide humanity. Your idea here is a good one, and the concept could be very fun to write but it just needs a little more work.
I'm going to stop at the scene change for a couple of reasons. One I'm about to leave so I don't have the time to go in as much depth as I have so far. And second, I feel like I would just be repeating myself. That said, if you would like me to continue writing a reveiw for this I would be glad to come back and edit it and add in the ending reivew, just message me and let me know. Like I said, your idea is a good one and I would love to continue reading this, but I would like to see more of a realistic empathy. Anways, bid you luck and I hope you conintue writing. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:31 AM View Post #4 (Link) This post is a reply - don't critique it
Emoijah Bridgs (Offline)
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I appreciate your points. Though, I think you took to criticizing everything but misunderstood the point of why I did things. The purpose wasn't to write like The Book Thief or any other thing.
For instance, I said "I am Empathy. I really am." I actually used that as repetition to try to convince readers who make doubt or think that's silly. I understand the whole repetition thing - I could delete some - but just to let you know, that kind of goes along with the direction. And some of hte things he says in intro about humankind, etc. - it's because he's a pompous and narcissistic character. I made him like that for a resason - you're thinking him too much as a regular person. HE'S NOT. I purposefully wrote the way I did because that's the way he see and responds to things.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:26 PM View Post #5 (Link)
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Originally Posted by Emoijah Bridgs View Post
I am Empathy. No, really – I am. Okay, so I'm going to assume that a lot of the writing style here is going to be dependent on the narrator voice. Which means I'm going to start looking at the voice very critically. Which means, therefore, that your narrator's voice can't be exactly like everything else I've seen so far. I will admit, these first two lines don't exactly win me over, but that's just a personal preference; I'm not sure if I like how human that second sentence makes Empathy sound, although that only bothers me because I have the introductory note where you specifically said you were going for something inhuman. I'm getting ahead of myself. It also just feels like it's wasting time; you only have so many words to hook a reader, and wasting them on redundant/repetitive things that don't serve that important a purpose is a pity. That is what I am and will always be. I step and explore, attempting to understand the feelings of someone else. See, When writing in the first person, especially something so informal, it's easy to throw in a lot of the pleonasms that mimic common speech. However, these pleonasms are still unnecessary, and you need to think whether or not they're helping your voice. I, personally, think that "see" hurts the voice (again, I'm stuck on this notion that Empathy shouldn't sound like a teenager telling me a story) but it's entirely up to you, of course, depending on what you're going for. I also think it's easy to fall into a trap of repetition with these kind of phrases, the kind of repetition that you don't actually notice you're doing, so I'll keep an eye out for that. I don’t judge other people – at least I try not to until I get to comprehend where they are coming from. I enjoy the process of stepping into someone’s else shoes. I mean that literally. Humans don’t like do that This sentence sounds like you forgot a few words. I can’t grasp on that matter – why attempt to understand someone or something without stepping into one’s shoes. These last few sentences are a bit confusing to me. So Empathy puts other people's shoes on? Because that's what "literally" implies. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a quirky "Haha, I put people's shoes on and they don't like that, but it's actually important" or you misused "Literally."

Be Empathy – be me for a change. I wish people could understand how difficult my job is. But, wait – of course they can’t. They don’t have me, Empathy. I mean, that's arguable, but okay. So is Empathy both a sentient being and an emotion? A sentient representation of the emotion (which humans, according to it, lack?)

But enough about me I don't know, I'm not sure if I have a firm enough grasp really on what Empathy's deal is, and considering that seems to be the touchstone of your story so far, that's not a great thing. That said, rather than spend more time trying to define your narrator, I think you need to find a way to streamline the explanation--make it clearer, but with fewer words.. Let’s talk about something else. Let’s go to…hmmm – the 1930s. What was happening in the 1930s? Oh yeah, that’s right – Hitler was happening. And later on the Holocaust would happen I think any of these last few sentences alone are fine, but the combination of the informal "hmmm" the playing-dumb of the "what was happening in the 1930s?" and the smirky way of saying "Oh, right, Hitler" makes it sound... well, you maybe could treat the rise of the nazis and the holocaust with a more delicate touch. Surely the embodiment of Empathy wouldn't just off-hand refer to the Holocaust so flippantly. If you're going to craft Empathy's voice, it should be absolutely dripping with its namesake. I, for one, would consider this sort of smart-ass/sarcastic tone an antithesis to empathy.
Also, point of contention, but the joke (or what I perceive to be a joke) of "what big event in the 30s am I conveniently forgetting" doesn't quite work for me. Of course, yes Hitler was rising to power in the 30s and the war broke out on the tail end of the 30s... but also the Great Depression happened in the 30s and, depending on who you ask, was the bigger defining moment of the decade (with Hitler and WW2 being more of a 40s thing). So playing dumb about some obvious historical moment doesn't quite work when there are two equally valid historical moments that Empathy could be thinking of. Again, maybe this isn't a joke, but that's how I read it--so if you don't mean it to be a joke, maybe think of rewriting it so it comes across less like one?


Before I carry on, let me apologize for a secondUnnecessary. Also inaccurate, as Empathy takes longer than a second to apologize. I want to make something clear. I am Empathy – I am not God or any other foreign Super Natural powerSo Empathy is western, is what you're saying? I don't mind starting with God and writing off other deities with a handwave, but the idea that Empathy has a concept of "foreign" means that Empathy also considers itself part of a nation. So is Empathy, what, American? Seems less like a purposeful decision and more just something you missed/didn't really think about. I cannot control the future and prevent things from happening. If you would not like to read a book about understanding Hitler or the Nazis or the Jews or the Holocaust, step away and put this book down. It's... really difficult to not sound like a Nazi Sympathizer, and for this to not be a bad thing. I'm assuming that the point of this is that Empathy is an impartial judge (although only somewhat, as they already said they still do judge people after they've looked at the issue) and the idea is that everyone has motivations, etc. etc. But, well, this is an incredibly sensitive topic, and I'm frankly not sure anyone can really make me empathize with a man who had such a large role in the butchering of so many people. I'm not saying you can't explore this idea, but you face an uphill battle, and maybe leading with "this is a book about understanding Hitler" maybe isn't the best way to start. I know, I know, "this isn't the book for you, then" but that's the equivalent of those people who say "if you can't handle me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best." Those people are idiots. Those people are just saying "I have flaws, and rather than work on them like a normal human being, it's everyone else's responsibility to change to suit me." Don't be like that.

You think, “Oh, Hitler is such an evil man,” or “I will never get Jews – those disgusting filthy creatures.” I think very few people will take this second stance, and if I can make a general statement here, the people that think that kind of thing aren't reading. When people attempt to stir your brain and step into Empathy’s shoes to either contradict or give you another view on your claim, you stand stubborn. I mean, it's not like people haven't analyzed Hitler's life and actions to find out his motivations... Again, I'm not sure I stand by this "Hitler's okay, and you're an immovable asshole for thinking otherwise" stance that Empathy seems to be taking.

See, this is why I don’t fathom humans. As the famous German misanthropist Friedrich Nietzsche says, “Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations, epochs, it is the rule.” Personally, I think he was being sarcastic in saying insanity in individuals is something rare. The whole of humanity is slow – all of them need desperate help. Okay, let me stop making fun of humankind. I don't buy this paragraph. Specifically, I don't buy the intro sentence that establishes "I don't get humans" but then the rest of the paragraph is this deep insight (or, at least, an attempt) into the human psyche. So can Empathy not fathom humans, or is it a scholar of Friedrich Fucking Nietzsche? Which is it?

So, to carry on for those who want to be like Empathy, I will tell you of my travels with a guy named Adolf Hitler, some Jews, some Nazis, a guy who gave Hitler the finger, and much more a regular human couldn’t apprehend. Again, the use of "guy" is quite informal, and doesn't sound to me like the embodiment of Empathy--it sounds like the same casual voice I see on this forum every other story I critique.



1897
This was an interesting year for me to investigate. To be more specific, this was the year Hitler turned 8 years old. I thought, ‘Oh, Hitler must have been in a wonderful home bossing all his siblings around – king of the house!’ Is there a precedent to believing this? Why did Empathy think this? Do you (the author) assume that this is the normal, uneducated belief about Hitler's household? I'm not disagreeing with this notion, but I'm wondering where the presumption comes for this character.
But no. I was wrong. See, I had to go step in that house that year. Because that is what Empathy does. Obviously.
I'm also getting a sense that Empathy is an entity somehow originating from our modern time period. Like, it doesn't seem like a timeless entity, it seems like it's purposely looking back into the past with a knowledge of Hitler before, which is... I dunno, odd to me. For something that's supposed to, I think, be the personification of empathy, it sure does have the perspective of a Modern American.

Hitler had five siblings, but all the others had deceased You say this, and then the next sentences establish that at least one is alive, and the other might be? It's a little unclear what happens to Alois Jr. after he runs away (i.e if he dies after he runs away) so what you're really saying is "Hitler had five siblings, but three of them had died." That's a big difference from "all". and Paula was the only one alive at the time. And besides The oldest one, Alois Jr. had run away from the home at 14. ButYou don't need "but" and "though" in the same sentence. more on that later, though. Hitler At this point, might work better to refer to him as Adolf. Might help build sympathy, and detract from the weirdness of referring to him by his family name while he's with his family. was living with his father Alois Hitler, his mother Klara Hitler and Paula You also don't need to tell us their last name. We know it. Or, if you like the sound of it, at least refer to Paula as Paula Hitler, so that it's balanced with the rest of them.. I decided to explore this particular year on a specific circumstance. I get what this last sentence is supposed to mean, i.e "I decided to explore the year as a "new neighbor" but what it sounds like is that there was a special condition required for Empathy to investigate the year. I.E "I decided to explore this particular year for a specific reason."

I decided to choose to be a ‘new neighbor’ of the Hitler’s family It's either just "of Hitler's family" or "of the Hitler family.". One day, I stopped in History by their house This sentence is awkward, and confusing. – as humans can say, to spy. I watched from the front window, observing.

Young Hitler was cleaning the floor and his sister was doing the dishes. A typical normal family. Alois walked in the kitchen, apparently in a bad mood. But what was new? I don't know, Empathy, what is new? Considering Empathy previously thought Hitler lived in a happy household, it seems odd to have Empathy now going "Oh, Alois is angry again, surprise surprise." You haven't really given me the sense that a lot of time has passed. With the awkward previous paragraph, I wasn't actually sure if time had passed or if this was Empathy's first time stopping to observe the Hitlers.
“Was machen Sie?“ Alois yelled at Hitler, What are you doing? Formatting suggestion: instead of a comma, put a period or a semi-colon and then put the translation in italics. Alternative suggestion: don't bother with the German phrasing at all. It doesn't look like you do it later, so why bother now? Why does Empathy have to translate German at all? Is it just assumed that Empathy is speaking English? So now Empathy is, without a doubt, a modern American, right?

Young Hitler stared at the floor, his arm rocking the old damp rag back and forth slowly.
Alois stormed in the kitchen right behind Young Hitler.“Did you hear me, Blödmann!“ (That means dumb A Nothing reveals the age/maturity of an author more quickly than seeing how they censor their swear words in their writing. It's your writing, and this site is pretty open. You can say dumbass. You can say fucknugget, if you'd like, as long as it's part of your writing. Either write out the full swears, or don't write them at all. Alternatively, keep the German word for the swearing, but don't bother translating it (although that would make me wonder why some words are English and others are German). Either way, own it or lose it. for the uneducated or non-German speakers) I would warn you – Alois was paticularly good at insults. Was he? Because "dumbass" isn't particularly good or inspiring. There's, like, zero effort in calling someone a dumbass.

And yes, Young Hitler did hear him. That wasn’t the question. The question was, Why are you not getting up and responding to what I just said, Blödmann? I don’t get why people do that – just say exactly what you want to say. Considering what Empathy embodies, it sure has a hard time understanding human beings, eh?

Young Hitler kept interest in the floor, his shaking hands continuing with the rocking motion.

Alois grabbed the boy by the hem of his shirt and forced him to stand up.

“Answer me, you fool!” Yup, there's that "good at the insults" Alois coming through.

Young Hitler stood there, his hands still shaking. A hand flew through the air and he slapped him. Pronoun ambiguity. It's hard to tell who's the "he" and who's the "him." Technically, based on the last subject you introduced, Hitler just slapped his dad. Also, because you separate "a hand flew through the air" and "he slapped him" it sounds like these are two separate actions, like a completely unrelated hand is flying through the air while Alois slaps Adolf. The boy fell back and held his face.

“Why aren't you done with the floor by now, you lazy Hurensohn!“ he screamed. “Your sister here is nearly finished with the dishes and she has done the laundry. I’ve been gone for about an hour!“ I'd get rid of the "about." It sounds too thought out. Alois is angry, and irrational. He's not measuring his time in "abouts." In his mind, he's been gone that full hour, if not even longer, and Adolf should have cleaned the whole house by now.

“I – I,“ he stammered. “I have done most of the floor!“


Alois glared at the floor in pure disgust. “What is this?” he said. “You call this ‘almost done’?”
He slapped him for the second time. Then, he slapped him again. A dark shade of red filled the left side of Young Hitler’s face.
“Leave me alone!” he screamed.
Alois pushed the boy back and slammed him against the wall. A sister’s scream was heard Passive. Why write it like this? Why not say "Pauala screamed"? as the boy cried simultaneously. I watched as Young Hitler’s father took off his ripped up, dying belt I do like describing the belt as "dying." Gives the scene this sort of morbid, undead feeling. and lashed it out at him. Once, twice, three times, four times, five times – I quitted "quit" counting.

He kept lashing out all over his body as Hitler sobbed into the floor Yeah, but is it Adolf Hitler sobbing, or Paula Adolf doing the crying on the floor? (I mean, I know the answer, but you really should call him Adolf. This is like if Harry Potter met the Weasley family and one of them was only ever referred to as "Weasley" while everyone else got "Ron" and "Fred", his body on the ground. As Paula tried to grab at Alois’ legs to stop him, Klara Hitler walked into the kitchen and yelled at Alois. He ignored her and stared coldly at his son.
“halte den Mund!” Shut up! Again, I question why some dialogue is in English, and why some is randomly in German to be translated by Empathy. He screamed to Paula, who was still screaming behind him. Immediately, she stopped.
That would just be one of the many times the boy would be abused by his father. Poor Hitler. Well, the young Hitler.
So, first of all, like I already said, you really should refer to him as Adolf. It'll build him a modicum of sympathy, especially if people can separate the boy Adolf from the Hitler they know from history books. It's also just hard to take the story seriously when you end on "Poor Hitler."

I won't touch the thesis of the story so much, because I think you're probably pretty determined to at least explore the idea that Hitler's actions can be justified by child abuse, or whatever, that me saying it can't be done will just embolden you further. However, this does lead me to one of the two big points I want to touch on.

Specifically, try and avoid this sounding like a history essay. If you want to write that essay, go write it and share it with the interested parties who like reading essays. You're instead trying to write a novel, and if you want people to read your novel you have to write in a way that isn't so academic. For a story starring a narrator named Empathy, there's virtually no heart in this chapter. I don't care about anything that's happening because it comes from the distance of a third party observing through a microscope. It's difficult for me to connect to anything like that. First person narration of an event the narrator isn't directly involved in is fine, of course, but you really need to work harder to make me feel like I'm being told a story, and not just being talked at.

Additionally, the text is so transparent that I can't help but push against it. Part of that is, like I said, Empathy lays out the thesis pretty much right away. It's hard--especially with some of Empathy's flaws, which I will get to--to separate Empathy from you, the author, and so this novel just becomes your soapbox to try and argue your point. That's not interesting to read and, frankly, I don't want to read a soapbox for a controversial opinion. I want to read a gripping story about flawed characters who become more flawed due to their circumstances. And you know what? I think that would be far more effective for you than what you have now, this "Hitler's only human, now let's look at his child abuse to demonstrate that" academia you have now. Even if a narrative doesn't start by saying "Hitler can be empathized with" it can end with me thinking, after seeing Adolf as a living, breathing character, that I can empathize with him just a little. If you craft it correctly. I don't think this is the right approach--not just for this story, but for any story, really.

Finally, I think you really need to work on Empathy. I already pointed out a lot of the voice that bothers me, but that's more of a personal preference. It really bugs me that Empathy is so American--that this embodiment of a universal human component is somehow American (it doesn't help that I am not American, and most non-Americans think America thinks it's the center of the universe--this kind of writing just reinforces that opinion). There are also just other issues--Empathy frequently doesn't understand human beings even though that's literally the one thing it should be able to do? Empathy has to manifest as a physical being to observe and empathize with Adolf?--that I don't think you've really thought it out as fully as you can. I also don't think you're being as creative as you can be with it. Don't let Empathy sound like every other teenage protagonist narrator. Make Empathy unique, somehow, or at least passably different. You said at the beginning that you wanted to write from the perspective of something inhuman, but this was far too human for my liking in the face of that.

Additional comments:

Though, I think you took to criticizing everything but misunderstood the point of why I did things
So your job, as the writer, is to try and figure out why a reader would do that? Instead of instinctively blaming the person who has critiqued you--for, what, critiquing wrong?--try and empathize (ha) with how they, as a reader encountering your work for the first time, see your story. For one thing, not every reader is going to understand why you do a lot of the things you do. Or readers will have different perspectives. They'll bring their own background to your work. You won't be there to tell every reader "this is why I did this, and this, and this." You just have to try it, and if some people don't like it they don't like it, or they don't react positively to it--which is what happened here--and you have to decide whether you should stick with what you wrote and hope that others like it, or think about improving what you've done. It's called Killing Your Darlings--you've probably heard this advice, and probably heard a bastardization of what it means. Ultimately, it means being accept that things you like in your writing might actually be hurting your writing, no matter how much you personally like it, and be willing to sacrifice those things to improve.

For instance, I said "I am Empathy. I really am." I actually used that as repetition to try to convince readers who make doubt or think that's silly. I understand the whole repetition thing - I could delete some - but just to let you know, that kind of goes along with the direction
Three people (myself included) have now suggested cutting those lines, so maybe it's time to think about what we've said about them and really judge your writing as impartially as you can.

And some of hte things he says in intro about humankind, etc. - it's because he's a pompous and narcissistic character. I made him like that for a resason - you're thinking him too much as a regular person. HE'S NOT.
It did not come across to me that he (the embodiment of empathy is gendered?) was pompous or narcissistic. There wasn't really anything of that characterization in the story. It just seemed like you were struggling between having a totally alien character, and one that's too human. You even confuse that boundary when you're arguing about his characterization--you say he's not like a regular person, but you're also trying to say he's pompous and narcissistic, which are like two of the most human characteristics. I don't think you have a good grasp of your own character.

I purposefully wrote the way I did because that's the way he see and responds to things.
I don't care if you did this on purpose. I'm hoping you've done everything on purpose. Just because you did it on purpose doesn't mean it's good. I'm a critiquer, and I'm here to tell you that I don't think these things work. Now, it's your right to ignore that, just as it's my right to tell you that I think your writing needs a lot of work. The difference is, you posted your work to get feedback on it. Please don't get so defensive when that feedback isn't to your liking, or else you'll never improve your writing.

Here are some guides I wrote for your reading pleasure. Please take them to heart:
8 Ways to NOT Make it as a Writer
How to TAKE a Critique
8 Poor Excuses for Poorer Writing (*Cough* Five and Seven *Cough*)
8 More Poor Excuses For Poorer Writing
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Pro-tip: because my first instinct is to procrastinate anything I see as an obligation or responsibility, asking me for a critique is a good way to make sure I never give you a critique.
  
						Last edited by Infinity_Man; 07-01-2016 at 10:28 PM.
					
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:21 AM View Post #6 (Link) This post is a reply - don't critique it
Emoijah Bridgs (Offline)
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Yeah, I completely understand. I was just overexaggerating. I'm not sure if I want to continue with the story, but for sure I won't let the idea die out. I just need more work on the protagonist. Because I might not agree that it should be Empathy. Mabye someone who lacks it?
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